Why settle for hope when you can be confident?
While the technical definition of hope is “a feeling of expectation and desire,” the vast majority of us, when using the word hope, have little expectation and a lot of desire.
Conversely, confident people have both high expectation and a lot of desire. That’s not to say that confident people expect things to work as planned. They are well aware that things rarely work as expected the first, second or possibly even the fifth time, but they know that the result they desire will ultimately be achieved. It may not appear as they envisioned initially, but they will get the desired result.
The importance of desire cannot be overstated. Regardless of what goal or dream you pursue, there will inevitably be obstacles along the way. If your desire isn’t strong enough, you’ll find it increasingly difficult to maintain focus and persevere through these challenges.
It’s okay to abandon a goal or dream if you find that the perceived payoff isn’t worth the effort. I’ve never regretted pursuing a dream or goal only to find later that it really isn’t what I wanted. Nor do I feel that the effort was wasted. It wasn’t. I learned more about myself and what truly interests me. That’s valuable information. So don’t regret a change of heart.
One of the ways I’ve found to avoid chasing shiny objects is to use desire as an evaluation tool. When opportunity presents itself I list the first 3 to 5 steps I have to take to achieve that goal. There’s nothing magical about the number 3 or 5, it has simply been my experience that in the early stages of pursuing an opportunity, I can’t see much farther down the road than that.
Once you’ve identified these early steps, rate your willingness to do each step using a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being high. If they aren’t all 4s or 5s, don’t start down the path, your desire isn’t strong enough to sustain you through the inevitable challenges you’ll face.
There’s one more term worth considering. That term is commitment.
In her book, The Law of Attraction and Other Secrets of Visualization, Dr. Laurel Clark says “Commitment is necessary for accomplishing any goal in life.” I couldn’t agree more.
On the surface this may seem to conflict with what I said earlier about abandoning a goal or dream when your desire wanes, but it isn’t. There’s a difference between changing direction when a goal or dream no longer appeals to you and abandoning a dream you strongly desire.
In the former instance, you’re acknowledging a change in what you want from life. The latter represents a willingness to settle for less than what you want. Once you decide what you want and, as Dr. Clark suggests, you visualize what you want in detail, it’s time to commit to getting what you want and begin acting on that commitment.
Whenever you find yourself ‘hoping’ for an outcome, ask yourself:
- Am I confident I can produce the result? If not, recall all of the situations you faced in which you had no background or experience and the results you produced. Your confidence will return.
- How important is it to me to achieve this goal or pursue this dream? Identify the first steps you need to take and rate them on your willingness to perform each step.
- Am I willing to commit, in the form of action, to making this dream a reality?
You’ll find that you experience fewer disappointments, less anxiety and significantly greater life enjoyment when you replace hoping with confidence, desire and commitment.
For our kids
Use the questions listed above to help the kids in your life avoid the emotional drains that stem from hopes without action, from dreams without desire and commitment, from wishing instead of moving forward confidently.
I love hearing your thoughts and experiences, please leave your comment below.
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